Spot a leopard in city and a deer next door

Pune is aiming for a safari park each for leopards and deer,with the former planned under the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the latter on the terrain of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation...

Written by MANOJ MORE | Pune | Published:February 19, 2009 2:40 am

Safari parks Civic bodies plan one each for Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad

Pune is aiming for a safari park each for leopards and deer,with the former planned under the jurisdiction of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the latter on the terrain of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) The civic bodies are looking to allocate 100 acres for each project,but both will settle for 50.

Pune municipal comissioner Praveensinh Pardeshi said the civic administration was scouting for space to house the leopard safari park and has finally zeroed in on two spots. “One location under consideration is at Baner-Pashan and the other is inside Katraj Zoo. Both these spots offer ample scope to set up the park. The park is certainly coming up on any one of the two locations,” he said.

Pointing out that only Borivali has such a park at present,Pardeshi said the process for setting up a leopard safari park in Pune had begun after the civic body received an in-principle approval from the Chief Wildlife Warden,Nagpur. “We have appointed experts for preparing a plan for the park,” Pardeshi said,adding that frequent straying of leopards into city areas had prompted the move.

Pimpri-Chinchwad municipal commissioner Asheesh Sharma said the deer safari park will come up at Talawade. “I have already written to the divisional commissioner and the district collector about allocating us 100 acres in the area,” he said.

Over 38 hectares (nearly 100 acres) in Talawade that belongs to the state government has been with the PCMC for maintenance. “Once we are allotted this land,we will start the works. The reservations for public amenities like garden and playground there would be clubbed together for the sake of the safari park,” he said.

Avinash Patil,deputy director of PCMC’s Town Planning department,said the Talawade land was handed over to the PCMC in 1997 for maintenance purpose and later fencing of the land was allowed.

PCMC’s zoo director Anilkumar Khaire said the “semi-dry” climate of Pune was suitable for the leopard and deer safari parks. “Both deer and leopards are common in Junnar taluka of Pune district,” he said.

Khaire said several types of deer are found across the country,but the PCMC will initially house at least three varieties of deer. “Those available in the Western Ghats will get top priority,” he said.

The PCMC will soon seek permission from the Central Zoo Authority for setting up the deer safari park. Pardeshi and his team of zoo officials had discussed the projects at a meeting last month with minister Ajit Pawar.

Pet cemetery

The plan to set up two safari parks follows the distinction of a unique pet cemetery,arguably the first in the country to be set up by a civic body. Set up by the PCMC at Nehrunagar in April 2007,it has had over 400 burials so far.

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